Thursday, 14 May 2015

Defining ‘Cult’

Catalogue_of_SectsCULT! It seems such a pejorative word and certainly in ministry it is not intended as a compliment. But is it an insult? Is its use an example of disagreeing while being disagreeable? To listen to many there is no excuse for using it, especially when what people see as sensible alternatives are available such as sect, or the more acceptable “new (or alternative) religious movement.” So is “cult” used out of nothing more than spite? Or is there a legitimate application in ministry terms?

History


“Cult” comes from the Latin, cultus, from colore, to cultivate or to worship. Colore is the same root for the Latin cultura, from which we get culture